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The Bitter End Pale Ale - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Bitter End Pale AleThe Bitter End Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

659 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 659
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 8
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
13.5 Plato and 30 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 659 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of

4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Dark in appearance with a small, moderately sticky head. Smells and tastes aggressively hopped, with grapefruit rind and kiwi. Some dark fruit flavors come in but are clearly in the background. A good amount of carbonation gave this a very nice mouthfeel and drinkability, slightly pop-like. Good on a hot, sticky day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 20:25:14 | More by


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A: Nice golden hazy hue with good head retention and minimal lacing.

S: The aroma is that of spicy hops, showing the bitter side of this beer.

T: The ale has a good well balanced taste from hops to malt, then back to hops on the finish.

M: A nice sharp, refreshing hop presence with the finish. A nice bitter lingering taste.

D: Good APA, this is one that could be used for a session beer for myself, and it has. With a lower ABV, this one is nice for cooling off on a summer day, but cannot wait to see how it warms on a winters night.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 13:04:12 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Orange base color with amber hues in middle of the glass. This beer pours a very nice one finger head that stayed full and foamy for the ENTIRE first beer I had of this, which also left intricate lacing.. it was absolutely awesome. Little darker than I expected for a pale ale..

S- Undertones of sweet malt coming through, but hidden a bit behind hop aroma.

T/M- Great taste. A bit more bitter than the nose alludes to, but I think this is very well balanced for a pale ale. The floral flavor comes directly after the bitterness and really sits well on the tongue. Tiny bit of citrus peeks through mainly due to hops, I'm assuming. The medium/light mouth feel fills the mouth and the carbonation is perfect. This beer is very well crafted on all degrees to me.

D- One of the most drinkable pale ales I have come across. For some reason this beer just feels good going down and I have had two back to back and put them both down quickly...

Overall, this beer really surprised me. I haven't had enough pale ales to say this is the best; blah blah blah, but damn it's great! One problem (only word I could think of) would be that the first one was much more hoppy than the second, which makes me hope this isn't a terribly inconsistent brew... But- I recommend this to anyone! *All scores are in comparison to other pale ales only...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 02:47:51 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of KBomb


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, copper-brown color. Small head leaves little lacing.

The smell is somewhat mild. Yet, you get a broad spectrum of hop aroma. Its not hard to detect hints of floral, spicy, and citric hops.

Taste is bitter, hoppy. A nice peppery hop flavor stands out, supported by a very subtle but sufficient malt background. The finish is just on the harsh side of average. Taste is decent, but aftertaste is just slightly more bitter than my palate likes.

Some robust carbonation keeps the the strong flavor from overwhelming the mouth. For being such a hoppy brew, the beer isn't at all "sticky", for which I'm grateful.

Moderate weight and body makes it easy enough to drink, but the excessively bitter finish means that I myself probably won't purchase another sixer of it.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 02:24:02 | More by KBomb
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grassy hops, caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong but not over-powering burst of floral hops bitterness. Then there is a hearty but not too heavy malt character that comes in followed by some citrus and caramel sweetness creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 01:33:05 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lodge, Chicago - Happy Hour, all domestics $4.
Pours golden-orange in color, one inch of thick head with nice retention and lacing. Citrus and flowery hop aroma. Mildly bitter, crisp hoppiness. Citrus, fruity, a bit grassy. Some malt notes, but not alot of sweetness. Clean and crisp, dry finish.
A nice sessional, easy drinking beer. Not great, but a good solid APA.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 22:25:46 | More by BigBry
Photo of jsh420


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

best by 9/13/10

pours bight golden copper with a 2 finger head that left no lacing

smell is light floral hops and carmel malts

taste is very good - light floral hops bitter grapefruit hops - nice balance of malts

mouthfeel is weak - light to medium body with almost no carbonation

drinkability is good - might not like the feel but the flavor is there

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 03:19:58 | More by jsh420
Photo of hooliganlife


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle at The Chicago Diner

light creamy frothy head, light retention, a nice amber color for a pale ale. lots of red tones.

light hoppy scent, mainly bitter citrus, light pine, light bready malts.

light malt backbone through out. light bitterness up front, almost a rye like flavor. through the finish it got a bit more bitter with a more citrus tone, mainly white grapefruit. lots of spice in this for a pale ale.

light body, but not thin, very moderate. nice light to moderate carbonation.

this was awesome. ive been pretty let down by everything ive had from two brothers but this was as solid as it comes, and very refreshing and fun to drink

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 02:22:22 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of secondtooth


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber, with a thick and rich head of tan bubbles. Spectacular lace. Definite points on presentation.

A nice, sweet, and floral/citrus hops aroma immediately permeates the air around this one. Certainly a promising opening!

Tastewise, it's a smooth and hoppy character with a well-balanced malty presence that counteracts the more acidic and bitter elements that other pale ales exhibit. Smooth finish, too.

A standout, and a fine example of the style. Highly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 19:34:33 | More by secondtooth
Photo of drpimento


3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like this one much more on draft than bottle. Poured with a nice fine foamy off white head and a little lace. Aroma is nice with some hop, malt, citrus, and perfumey spice. Flavor is like aroma but with a few other things too - minerals, wet leather, earth, resin. Body is good and so's carbonation. Finish is like flavor and medium in length.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 04:19:32 | More by drpimento
Photo of Mistofminn


3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a large, off-white head. Retention isn't the greatest but it does manage to leave some sticky lacing.

The nose is full of light floral and citrus hops. Light grapefruit and orange characters come to mind, which you don't usually find in a Pale Ale. It's good, but very subtle. I wish it was more straight forward.

Starts out with a nice hop character, floral and citrus notes. Also a fairly strong pale malt backbone. Surprisingly bitter, which shouldn't be surprising given the name.

Lighter body with a heavy carbonation. Finishes a bit dry and bitter. Drinkability isn't bad.

Overall, not a bad Pale Ale. Subtler than I would have liked, but still a great beer. Nice one by Two Brothers.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 03:57:16 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of GbVDave


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Best By 7/6/10

A: Pours a crystal clear, golden orange color with a 1 1/2 finger, bright white, and bubbly layer of foam on top that sticks around for a bit and leaves some pretty lacing behind.

S: Aromas of caramel, piney hops, pear, and a slightly grassy smell.

T: Hops move a little more to the forefront here. Piney with hints of citrus. Toasted bready malt and caramel in the finish.

M: Nice array of dry/toasty malt, spicy hops, and slightly sweet fruit (pear). Finishes dry and bready.

D: This is one of those APA's that you can drink all friggin' day. It's no Alpha King, but it most certainly gets the job done!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 00:49:28 | More by GbVDave
Photo of jhauser3


4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite american Pale Ales. I am biased as it is also local to me. It is exciting to live close to a place that makes such a good beer.
The beauty of this beer is really the last sip. As a hop head, the "bitter end" of the beer leaves a lasting impression that made me want to go back out and get more.
The nice part about this beer is that I am able to bring this home in mass quantities, knowing that most people will enjoy it. It is balanced and sweet enough that even my wife would drink it. The smell of hops on the nose makes me salivate as I try to figure out what type I am smelling.
Overall, this is a great beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 19:00:14 | More by jhauser3
Photo of ChadQuest


2.8/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, two finger head with nice retention and lacing.

Citrusy and flowery aroma.

Sharp bitter Orange Rind, crisp hoppyness, a touch of grassy notes wafting in a breeze, and a hint of sweetness.

nice clean and crisp finish. session/summer beer. Name explains it.

Easy drinking like most pale ales, but maybe a bit easier then most as it's maybe a touch lighter and cleaner then some others that come to mind.

Good solid APA. Not the best in the mid-west, but pretty solid, especially for summer grilling.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 07:15:19 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mnwags for this one...my first Two Brothers beer, sent by a blood brother, no less. Cheers Nnnick!

Pours a shiny copper color with red tinting, no haze at all, total clarity. Foamy head of small, tight bubbles, pretty decent retention. Little bits of lace only. Looks the part, basically.

Aroma is a balance between toasty malt, citrus hops and a dash of cinnamon. Light mineral quality to it, but in a good way. Good, if mellow and unassuming.

Light metallic flash on the palate opens to a more bitter, grassy flavor, which is then overtaken by something like sugar cookie dough, although not all that sweet. Nearly astringent bitterness in the finish, as the malt totally dies away. No staying power in the finish. Basically good flavor, but lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

While carbonation is present, there's a smoothness to the beer that nearly veers toward flatness. There's a buttery roundness I like, I just wonder if it works for this beer style? Then again, it's incredibly close to the kind of smoothness you find on tap, so in that respect I'm impressed. Ultimately not sure how to score the feel, but it definitely grew on me and became the beer's most enjoyable facet.

Some good stuff going on here, but the entirety of the flavor is a tad indistinct. The taste doesn't really last, other than the bitterness...so I guess the beer has the right name, although just a bit more oomph would've done the trick. Not a mindblower, but don't forget: "B" means "good"!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 23:46:09 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of pasdachuri


3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy golden color with bright orange highlights and held a large, but short lived sticky head.

Smelled of light floral hops. Some grapefruit and orange peel with maybe a hint of apricot in there.

Starts upfront with a nice combination of malts which melt into a hoppy grapefruit taste as expected. What was not expected was the bitter, burnt after taste which followed. If bitter was what they were going for here they definitley found it.

Pretty heavy carbonation with a dry finish.

Not a bad beer and I believe Two Brothers got what they were looking for with this brew. This is just not my taste and what I look for in an APA.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 13:34:35 | More by pasdachuri
Photo of Pahn

New York

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Stag's Head, NYC. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy copper, with minimal head and a few streaks of lacing.

Smell: Weak malt, and nothing else.

Taste: Nice, mild hop and malt balance. The hops have a nice bite, but almost no character. There's a mild toasted flavor, with some vague fruit (apple?). Pleasant malt aftertaste. Not very bitter, not that sweet (maybe a bit too sweet, but only a bit).

Really, I thought the taste was bland and I was utterly unimpressed, but perhaps its the style and not this instantiation that is too bland for me, so I'm not rating it too low.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, but a bit a watery.

Drinkability: Pretty good. Maybe it would go well with food... On its own, it's hard for me to say that it's very drinkable, since the flavor is so muddy and characterless. Water has high drinkability, but if beer is like water, is it thus drinkable?


I didn't like this beer at all. Perhaps I am not the one to review American pale ales... but I enjoy a good malt / hop balance as much as the next guy. I didn't see anything in this beer to suggest it. As a note, this was my first beer of the day, and I hadn't eaten all day, so it's not like my palate was fried or anything. Honestly, I wanted to like this beer more than I did, but it didn't particularly seem to want me to like it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2009 08:28:43 | More by Pahn
Photo of dnjmed


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear copper orange, a color i've come to love because of it's association with pale ales. A good head is formed.

Smells of subtle orange and pine alongside sweet grain and malt. I'm liking the balance.

Taste is a little more weighted towards the hops than the aroma but i like it. while it is bitter as its name implies there is considerable amounts of malt here to make this well balanced and delicious.

feels crisp in the mouth but not too light and is quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 17:59:14 | More by dnjmed
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There seems to be carbonation issues off the bat with minimal head and fine speckled lacing, a clouded amber body . Aroma pungent pine and citrus hops with some turning of the hop profile going on. Semis sweet tones with caramel and malt blanketed with hops on the tongue and palate. Strong ample bitterness makes you forget about the rest of the beer's profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly slick with hop oils, carbonation is mellow maybe too much so. Drinkability overall is weak due to carbonation issues and slightly stale hop character I'll have to try more bottles to compare it to.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 06:45:44 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of beerwolf77


3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a clear amber with golden yellow highlights. The off white head reaches about an inch and a half. After settling I'm left with a decent amount of lace.

The aroma is straight forward sweet malt. Some hops can be picked up as well. Light juicy pineapple and grapfruit come through after some warming.

The flavor is very malty. Too much malt for an APA. Some hops are present but they have to fight to be tasted. There's a slight skunkiness in the finish.

Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a slight dissapointment from two bros. Maybe the bottle was off. If I see it again I will have to grab it and give it a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 04:25:33 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured amber into an American pint glass, with no carbonation and very little head. The aroma consisted of biscuit, pine, and bitter hops, while the taste was less pleasant. It started on a hoppy note, then dissolved to a sickeningly sweet molasses-type flavor, mixed with hints of biscuit, and then finishes on a dry hop bitter note. Sounds like a nice progression, but in reality it was a little disjointed, and the sweetness mid-palate was unbearable. Medium-bodied, and smooth on the palate; this could be a decent session beer for someone...just not me.

Serving type: cask

12-08-2009 04:50:49 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of ckeegan04


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel brown with faint hints of dark orange around the edges. Thin white head that quickly fades to a white ring around the glass. Spotty patches of foam sitting on the top. Limited lacing left on the glass.

S - Surprisingly malty in the nose with lots of caramel and hints of fresh baked bread. Underneath the sweet aroma is a light mix of earthy and floral hops.

T - Lots of sweetness up front with a bitter backing. Lots of caramel and some breadiness. A bit too malt heavy for me with a misplaced bitterness that does not seem to fit well. The bitterness is very floral and tastes well, but just seems to be out of place.

M/D - Medium bodied. Not the best balance which brings the drinkability down a notch for me, but still a tasty pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 19:26:46 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of matjack85


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this single 12oz brown bottle at Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL for $1.42. (They let you break apart 6 packs there and then charge you 1/6 of the 6 pack price for a single bottle.) The back label has a blurb about the brewery on it along with a clearly marked freshness date of March 22, 2010.

The beer pours a rich, deep, dark golden color, but when held up to light it turned a bright yellow. The beer made a 1½ finger white head that lasted several minutes and left a good amount of lacing.

The smell is weak - just a touch of floral, citrus, and piny hops.

The three hop varieties in here really dominate the taste. There is definitely a sweet malty presence, but it hardly makes a dent into the hop bitterness. Forget about balance - this is a hop lover's delight. I loved the resulting bitter flavor created from mixing the floral, citrus, and piny hops.

The beer is medium bodied, smooth, and heavily carbonated, giving it a spritzy mouthfeel.

Drinkability will depend on how well you like bitter beers. If you're a big fan of IPA's and APA's, then you'll find this to be a very good one and I could drink a whole bunch of them - especially with its low 5.1% abv, but if you're not a fan of bitter beers, you might want to leave this one on the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 08:34:44 | More by matjack85
Photo of trbergman


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Dusky orange with one finger of dense, clinging head.

S - Smells of crystal malt, with caramel and honey; a bit of nutty yeast; plenty of resiny hop aroma comprising pine and orange rind. A whiff of alcohol seems out of place.

T - Hops lead the attack with pine and citrus flavors before making room for malty sweetness. Malt packs a one-two punch of caramel and toffee; there's also a hint of bread crust. The finish is short and balanced.

M - Light and smooth, with low carbonation.

D - A little sweeter than I tend to like in an APA, but worth trying again. Overall, a decent offering from Two Brothers that just happens to lack a distinguishing feature.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 02:17:44 | More by trbergman
Photo of Blakaeris


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper-amber with a mild white head that quickly dissipates to thick ring.

Aroma is earthy, and slightly nutty. Definite biscuit quality to the caramel malt.

Taste retains the biscuit quality from the nose and adds the a slight woodyness. Earthy hops and malt are very well balanced. Only mildly bitter, the finish lingers with caramel malt along with orange and apple fruit notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated to provide a soft and round feel.

A malty APA with a pleasant biscuit quality. Balanced earthy hop, woody and fruity character keep things interesting.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2009 15:36:26 | More by Blakaeris
The Bitter End Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 659 ratings.